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By: Jess Canty

I posted an article a couple of weeks back about the Pareto Principle and it has really stuck in my mind since then. It has gotten me paying attention to the fact that I will often complete "tasks" in order to feel like I have accomplished something in lieu of working on the one or two big complicated goals that will move the needle.

I have been thinking a lot about this also in the context of client goal-setting for next year and I want us to switch it up. I know this year we had individual meetings with each of you and we listed a number of goals for 2019. I hope you are each going back and looking at this list and checking against it.

That being said, the Pareto Principle has gotten me thinking that perhaps these lists for many of you were too extensive. That we had things like "book 3 co-stars, get a new agent, find a new class, make enough to get SAG health insurance etc..." If you look just at this example above - I would say that one of these things is "task" related.

Finding a new class simply requires finding out available classes and auditing them / asking friends who have taken them, choosing the class and then going to it. The rest of these are closer to "Pareto Principle" goals in that they are difficult and complicated. The most complex is the "make enough to get SAG health insurance."

That is a large, over-reaching complicated goal that would require a certain level of work in order to accomplish. And it is the kind of goal that I want you to be thinking about for 2020. Now, of course if you are non-union this makes no sense for you. But in that case your goal should perhaps be "become SAG Eligible."

I have just started watching Bob Iger's Master Class and you know what the FIRST thing in the FIRST class is?


They literally break down his day from waking up to the end of the day.

Here is what it looks like:

  • 4:15 Wake Up - Go to the Gym. He expressed that he works out "alone" and without "distractions" (i.e. no email and just music playing) to allow himself to think.

  • 6:30 - Arrive at the office. He talked about how he likes to get in before anyone so he isn't bombarded, and he has time to ease into his work day.

  • 9AM - 4PM - Meetings

  • 4:30 PM - Home / time with family

  • 8PM - 10PM - Two more hours focused on work.

  • 10PM - One TV show to relax.

  • 11PM - Off to Sleep.

The meetings and the two hours post dinner are for him of course hyper focused on the over-all goals of Disney - which he narrowed down to 3.

So - the CEO of a huge muti-national conglomerate is able to distill the company's goals to just 3:

Invest in Creativity

Embrace Technology

Grow Globally

Now - if you look back at where Disney was when he was promoted to CEO and where they are now you can see that he has been hyper-focused on just these three things.

Investing in Creativity meant buying Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel and Fox. Embracing Technology - The Disney + Rollout.

Grow Globally - They have opened a number of new theme parks around the world and their content strategy has been aimed at a global, not domestic audience.

So... if a multi-national corporation that has been around for nearly 100 years only has three goals - then you need just one.


That's it folks.

ONE goal next year.

I want you to take some time to think about it before our meetings in January - hence my post today.

We are still here to help make sure this big complicated goal isn't so "pie in the sky" that it becomes unattainable. Disney was already poised to purchase Pixar etc... when Iger set out the goal of "investing in creativity." They already had - as he put it - a global, albeit shallow, presence - so this was focused on deepening that presence.

For some of you this goal should be "find my first agent." For some of you this goal should be "book my first guest star." For some of you this goal should be "make more money theatrically than commercially." For some of you this should be "become SAG-E." For some of you it is "move to LA."

Again these are just ideas - but imagine what your year will look like next year if you have ONE over-reaching goal. That all of your efforts are in service of that one goal. Can you see how this will impact your "task" decisions?

If you, for example, have the goal of being SAG-E, then the next question becomes "HOW." What are the 15 things that need to happen to make that occur. How do you start down that path? What do you need to book in order to make this happen etc... etc...

One goal for 2020.

One difficult, complicated goal that will significantly impact your career.

This is after all, the city of big dreams.

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